A prayer for those well acquainted with dying


The psalmist was speaking on behalf of Israel: “For your sake we face death all day long.”

It is about following you, about feeling abandoned by you, about wondering when you will follow through on your promises to your people.

“Awake, Lord! Why do you sleep?”

It is an honest expression, fully aware that you are not asleep and fully aware that it feels that way.


God, some of my friends face death all the day long.

It’s the work they do in grief and loss, in caring for others from life all the way to death. It is, as you know, hard and holy work, bearing witness to life and to the limits of life and to a hope beyond this version of physical life. It is, as you know all too well, work that sometimes tries to explain why you didn’t fix this problem in that particular way.

They offer their words and tears and hearts. They do the best they can. For our sake, they face death all day long.


And then death comes close. The grief is theirs. And my friends need friends like themselves.


God, for their sake you face death all day long.
Give them respite from the grief of others so they can bear their own.
Give them others to bear their grief.
Awake us from our sleep to serve them.
“Give rest to the weary. Sooth the suffering.”

Through Christ our Lord.